Yet despite that relative youth he was arguably the most respected lighting designer in the profession and one of its great pioneers.
In the eighties, he was one of the first to experiment with colour-change techniques – long before it became technically easy and ubiquitous. But he always was careful to make sure it was appropriate to the space. He also innovated with interactivity and controls and again, pushed manufacturers to the limits of their capabilities.
Along with Mark, he built Speirs + Major into a practice like no other, one with a cogent, intellectual philosophy that created ground-breaking projects such as the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Copenhagen Opera House and the Millennium Dome in 2000.
Personally I am grateful to Jonathan for his support of Lux magazine in the early days – he even wrote a brilliant and passionate piece on the world’s most inspirational projects, which he wanted titled – in typical mischievous fashion – the 10 lighting experiences to have before you die.
I’ll miss you, Jonathan.